Brian Rice has confirmed that Ross Callachan has a relegation clause in his contract but he dismissed reports that it’s been activated.

Hamilton boss Rice asserted that the 27-year-old is able to leave on a free this summer after Accies were relegated to the Championship.

The midfielder has been linked with a return to former club Hearts but it’s understood those rumours lack substance.

Reports linking him to Livingston are also inaccurate with David Martindale looking at other options.

Reports emerged this afternoon that Callachan had already exercised his release clause but Rice insists those are inaccurate.

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He said: “Ross has a clause in his contract that if we were relegated, he could leave. At this moment, he has not exercised that clause.

“We are only two days past the end of the season and I don’t expect anything to happen just now.

“I’m sure that there will be other clubs that are looking at Ross. He’s a Hamilton player that scored ten goals from midfield and he’s available on a free - he’s obviously going to attract attention.

Ross Callachan celebrates scoring against Rangers

“Any Premiership midfielder that scores double figures is going to attract attention from other clubs.”

Callachan has praised Rice this season for believing in him during the summer and offering him the chance to return to Premiership football.

He only made eight appearances last season for St Johnstone and Dundee but he thrived at Hamilton, scoring ten goals in the league.

The former Hearts midfielder has enjoyed his time at Hamilton and Rice hopes that plays a significant factor in his decision.

He said: “I know how much Ross has enjoyed his time at the club. He enjoys playing with the boys, he fits in fantastically well and he’s a brilliant season.

“It’s the best season of his career and he’s said how much he’s enjoyed his time at Hamilton.

Accies boss Rice shares a good relationship with Callachan

"He’s been fantastic for the club but the club has also been fantastic for Ross - it’s a two-way thing.”

“I brought him in to do a job and he’s done that. He scored goals but he could have scored a few more and he admits that himself.

“We just need to see what the next stage with Ross is but I’ve not given up hope of him staying.

Callachan was not involved in Hamilton’s final game of the season which raised questions about his future.

However, Rice revealed that he picked up an injury against Ross County and that he was on the threshold of a suspension next season.

Callachan sustained an injury against Ross County

Rice added: “I spoke to Ross on Sunday and he got injured in the last minute against Ross County. He was genuinely injured as he picked up a dead leg against County and he never trained.

“If we had been booked on Sunday then he would have missed the first two games of next season through suspension so he probably wouldn’t have played anyway.

“I’ve had discussions with Ross, he knows how I feel about the situation and I’d love him to stay.

"He knows how much he’s kicked on this season and I’m hopeful but nothing is confirmed yet."

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